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Lilacs & Greensleeves: Dementia Awareness

  • Posted On October 8, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

From the Alzheimer’s Association:

Dementia Awareness

As you can see, there are several types of Dementia! The Alzheimer’s Association has a wonderful website to go to and find great information on this multifaceted disease such as:

“What is Alzheimer’s ~ What is Dementia ~ Diagnosis ~ Stages ~ Treatment”

About Dementia:

“Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.”

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Your memory often changes as you grow older. But memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be a symptom of dementia. Dementia is a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) disease, a fatal disorder that results in the loss of brain cells and function. It may be hard to know the difference between age-related changes and the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Some people may recognize changes in themselves before anyone else notices.Other times, friends and family will be the first to observe changes in memory, behavior or abilities.To help identify problems early, the Alzheimer’s Association® has created a list of warning signs for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Individuals may experience one or more of these in different degrees.

1. Confusion with time or place

2. Difficulty completing familiar tasks

3. Challenges in planning or solving problems

4. Memory loss that disrupts daily life

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

8. Decreased or poor judgment

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities

10. Changes in mood and personality

If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, please see a doctor to find the cause. Early diagnosis gives you a chance to seek treatment and plan for your future.

The Alzheimer’s Association can help.


Call: 800.272.3900


Lilacs & Greensleeves: PS; Linda Loera, Community Outreach Specialist

Care4You is honored to feature Linda Loera as our Professional Spotlight. Thank you Linda for everything that you do in our community to help all of us have a better understanding about Alzheimer’s! We really appreciate you!

Linda Loera is a Community Outreach Specialist with the Alzheimer’s Association, CA – Southland Chapter. Her responsibilities include educating the community about Alzheimer’s disease, participating in community events to bring awareness to the disease, and supporting families and caregivers through care consultations, support groups and providing information and resources. Before joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Linda worked for the HICAP program for 11 years, counseling and advocating on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries and creating relationships with community organizations. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, earned a B.A. and M.A. in Latin American Studies as well as an M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Visit the Alzheimer’s LA website here>


Lilacs & Greensleeves: CP; Alzheimer’s Association

Care4You is very proud to feature the Alzheimer’s Association as our Community Partner! The work that you do everyday is a real service to our communities, not only to educate but also to move towards a real goal to help find the cure for this very difficult disease!

From all of us who walked with you on September 16, 2018, (see here>) and all who walk with you daily…thank you for being there for us!!

Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter provides free educational programs, support services and care consultations across Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Kern, Tulare, Kings and Inyo counties while also supporting critical research toward a cure. To find a support group, program or regional office near you, contact our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

Visit the Alzheimer’s Association website here>


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Care4You San Dimas CA Walk to End Alzheimer’s

On September 16, 2018 Care 4 You participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s through the Alzheimer’s Association at the Ontario Mills. We walked over 2.5 miles around the mall along with approximately 1,500 participants. This year’s event raised more than $150,000 for Alzheimer’s research to find a cure. Each of the flowers represents caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s, those who have lost someone to Alzheimer’s, those currently with Alzheimer’s, and supporters of a cure for Alzheimer’s.

We were so honored to be a part of this very special group of friends, walking together for a great cause! ♥


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Prevent Hospital Readmissions

  • Posted On September 18, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

What is a readmission?

“Readmission is a term used when a patient is admitted back to the hospital for in-patient care soon after being discharged.  OPA’s Quality Report Cards use a quality measure of hospital readmissions that occur within 30 days of being discharged for the same or a related medical condition.

Unfortunately, hospital readmissions occur far too often and can lead to more serious health problems. The good news is that many readmissions can be prevented with proper treatment planning and follow-up. Patients can do their part to prevent readmission by following their care plan, tracking their medicines, and keeping follow-up appointments.

Why is it important to prevent a readmission?

Both your health and finances are put further at risk if you face a hospital readmission. Each time you are admitted to the hospital, you probably will have to pay a deductible or another co-payment.  In addition to the cost of the hospital care, the delay in recovery from your illness can postpone your return to work.

What can be done to prevent a readmission?

Many return hospital visits could be prevented if patients, caregivers and hospital staff plan ahead for the day the patient leaves the hospital. There are key things you can do:

  • Ask questions: Make sure you understand the information given to you by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.  Repeat their instructions to make sure you understand them. It is also helpful to have a family member or friend with you to take notes.
  • Have a discharge plan (also called a care plan): Before being discharged from the hospital, make sure the doctor, nurse or other hospital staff gives you a detailed written plan that includes:
    • A list of your medical problems.Know your diagnosis, potential complications, and who to call if you need assistance.
    • A schedule of follow-up appointments. See your primary care doctor or specialist as directed.
    • A list of your medications with clear written instructions about when to take them and for how long, as well as any possible side effects.
    • A list of equipment you might need, such as wheelchair or hospital bed.
    • A list of recommended home modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom. Try to make these changes to your home before you leave the hospital.
    • A list of any activities to avoid and for how long.
    • If your hospital does not give you a discharge plan, you can use this discharge checklist to help you ask questions of the hospital staff.
  • Create a support team to help you at home: Have a family member, friend and/or other caregiver help you at home with meals, medications, personal hygiene and other necessary care.
  • Know what to do if you don’t feel well: Know the danger signs for your condition and what you will do if your symptoms get worse. Know who to call during the day, at night and on weekends.
  • Follow up with your regular doctor and specialists: Make sure your doctors know about any changes in your health. Bring your care plan to each doctor’s appointment, along with your new prescriptions and a list of all of your prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and other supplements.”

Source here>

Lilacs & Greensleeves: PS; Mary Winners BSBA, Certified Gerontologist

Care4You is honored to feature Mary Winners BSBA, Certified Gerontologist as our Professional Spotlight! Thank you Mary, for all that you do in your exceptional service to those in need. Well done!

Mary Winners, Founder.

Mary has over a decade of experience in the business development aspect of healthcare. While physicians and nurses provide medical recommendations, Mary understands the other side of health care-the confusing maze of health care options and unknowns. She has extensive knowledge in acute care hospitalization, Gero-psychiatric issues, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, hospice, assisted living and other senior care options. A noted speaker and adviser, Mary has provided expert services to a wide variety of seniors in every economic category. Her ability to accurately pinpoint and guide families as they deal with emotional life changing events gives Mary an insight that has no parallel.

See About Senior Solutions website here>


Lilacs & Greensleeves: CP; About Senior Solutions

Care4You is proud to feature About Senior Solutions as our Community Partner! The commitment and dedication to provide excellent care to those who seek their services makes them so very special! Thank you for all that you do in your endeavors to show your professional and very thoughtful spirit!

About Senior Solutions
Who They Are

About Senior Solutions is a senior resource, evaluation, placement and advocacy organization dedicated to serving the needs of aging seniors and their family members. The organization was founded by a professional woman passionate about providing families with solutions to health care dilemmas that families were in crisis over.

They understand that sudden or gradual changes in a senior’s health can create a great deal of emotional concern and create overwhelming anxiety for families. When families are caught in the merry-go-round of health care options and what the best things for their loved one is, they turn to About Senior Solutions for the answers.

Visit About Senior Services website here>


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Hospice and Respite Care

  • Posted On August 20, 2018
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

How Respite Care Brings Relief for Caregiver Burnout

Demands of Caregiving

Caregiving for someone who is ill can be stressful, but when that someone is in the final stages of life, caregiving takes on different challenges. Care requirements are often escalated, with medications given more frequently, special wound care that may be needed, as well as assistance with feeding and toileting. The uncertainty of when death will occur also puts emotional pressure on the caregiver.

All of this can cause caregivers to lose sleep and live in isolation and fear, which can result in depression, fatigue and anxiety, also referred to as “caregiver burnout.”¹ To deter this, it is essential that those taking care of the dying also take care of themselves by getting plenty of rest and making time for themselves away from the demands of caregiving.

End-of-life patients receiving hospice services are eligible for “respite care,” defined and covered by the Medicare hospice benefit. Hospice respite care allows a family caregiver to get a break from caregiving duties while the patient is cared for in a Medicare-certified inpatient facility.

See a list of all VITAS Inpatient Hospice Unit locations

What Is Respite Care?

Medicare defines respite care as, “… short-term inpatient care provided to the individual only when necessary to relieve the family members or the person caring for the individual at home.”²

Situations that are considered necessary include:

Caregivers who may be suffering from physical or emotional exhaustion from taking care of a patient around the clock

Caregivers who would like to attend a family event such as a graduation, wedding, funeral, etc.

Caregivers who become ill and cannot take care of the patient.

Who Provides Respite Care?


In the event of these kinds of situations, the hospice benefit pays for a patient to stay in a Medicare-certified facility for up to five days and nights while the caregiver is away. Members of the hospice care team, who are in a position to notice the symptoms of caregiver burnout, can ask the team physician to provide orders to admit a patient into a Medicare-approved facility, such as a hospice inpatient unit, a bed in a hospital contracted by the hospice, or a nursing home.

Once the patient is admitted, the hospice team continues to expedite the patient’s plan of care, while the facility staff provides the care that would have been given by the family caregiver. Under the hospice benefit, inpatient respite care can be provided on an occasional basis, ensuring that the caregiver can relax and enjoy time away knowing his or her loved one is in good hands.

Not every caregiver needs a break of up to five days and nights, which respite care provides. Relief from caregiving can also be provided by other means. When a hospice care team member, including a hospice volunteer, arrives [at the home] or a trusted friend is visiting [the home], the family caregiver may utilize that time to run errands, take a walk or meet friends.

Re-energizing the Caregiver with Respite Care

Spending time with others or taking a short trip can help caregivers catch up on much needed rest, gain perspective and foster a more positive attitude. To get the most from respite care, caregivers are encouraged to plan ahead to decide how they will spend this time. The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center recommends that caregivers take regular and sufficient amounts of respite time and make this a meaningful and purposeful break from routine³.

Respite Care is One of Our Four Levels of Care

VITAS offers four broad types, or levels, of care as defined by the Medicare hospice benefit:

Routine home care. This is how we provide hospice care most often: in patients’ homes, long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Continuous care (Intensive Comfort Care®). When medically necessary, acute symptom management is provided at home or in another facility by hospice staff in shifts of up to 24 hours/day so the patient can avoid hospitalization.

Inpatient care. If a patient’s needs cannot be managed at home, VITAS inpatient hospice units and special arrangements at other local facilities provide hospice care around the clock until the patient can return home.

Respite care. Limited to up to five consecutive days, respite care provides a brief “respite” for the patient’s primary caregiver by admitting the home care patient to an institutional setting without meeting the “inpatient” pain and symptom management criteria.

Source here>


Lilacs & Greensleeves: PS; Pamela Wright, BSW, MSW, LCSW

Care4You is very honored to feature Pamela Wright as our Professional Spotlight. Pamela, we appreciate all that you do in your assistance and education services as a VITAS Community Liaison! You a a gift that through your dedication, keeps on giving. Thank you so much!

Pamela Wright, BSW, MSW, LCSW
Senior Community Liaison
VITAS Healthcare

Pamela Wright is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Senior Community Liaison with VITAS Healthcare. In addition to one-on-one conversations about goals of care with the high risk patient population, Pam is responsible for end-of-life care education, development and outreach to underserved communities, and is a local and national guest lecturer for Conferences, Universities, Health Plans, ACOs, and the general community. She speaks often about best practices in Hospice and Palliative care, Advanced Directives, POLST, and psychosocial management of pain and suffering in end of life care.

Since 1995, Pam has worked for VITAS in clinical social work, later in community development, and has served as a member of the VITAS  West Coast Bioethics Committee. She has worked as a Clinical Social Worker for Charter for Charter Behavior Health and as a Social Worker Intern/Discharge planner for Huntington Hospital.

Pam is active in many professional organizations in the health and aging arena. She is a member of the California Coalition for Compassionate Care, San Gabriel Valley Certified Nursing Awards Executive Committee, the City of Pasadena’s annual Conference on Aging, and the San Gabriel Valley End of Life Care Coalition. She received a Senior Service Award from the Pasadena Senior Center and a Congressional Award from Representative Adam Schiff in August 2006 for outstanding contributions to the community.

Pam received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Loma Linda University in Riverside and her Master’s degree in Social Work from UCLA. She rounded out the clinical expertise from her Master’s degree by receiving her License in Clinical Social Work (LCSW) from California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences in 2005.

Source here>


Lilacs & Greensleeves: CP; VITAS Healthcare

Care4You is proud to feature VITAS Healthcare as our Community Partner! Their kind and caring spirit is well known in the community. Thank you VITAS for everything that you do in service to those in need at what can be such a difficult time in their lives! It is comforting to know that you are there so willing to help!

The Best in Hospice Care in Southern California

VITAS Healthcare provides end-of-life care for adult and pediatric patients with life-limiting illnesses. We work with patients and families to provide comfort and preserve dignity in the face of terminal illness.

Comfort Care at the End of Life

Hospice is about living with comfort and dignity during the last months, weeks and days of life. It is a commitment to caring for those who have a life-limiting illness. By promoting comfort, palliative care allows people near the end of life to live more fully at home, wherever that might be, surrounded by family, culture and tradition.

Hospice is not about losing hope or about giving up. Hospice is about redefining hope: hope for a richer, more peaceful end-of-life experience; hope for an easier transition for your family through sensitive grief support.

Hospice Care at Home

When everything is changing, VITAS helps things stay familiar. We help patients stay home and in the Southern California area whenever possible—whether home is a private residence, an assisted living or long term care facility, or even a hospital room. We work with patients’ personal physicians, so patients keep the doctors they know and trust. No matter where care takes place, we coordinate closely with all caregivers, spiritual advisors, families and friends to ensure the patients’ optimal well-being.

Palliative Care

VITAS is experienced in palliative care, a field of medicine that focuses not on curing illness but on actively managing pain, symptoms and spiritual and emotional needs so patients can have the best quality of life possible. Palliative care is a component of hospice care. As a palliative care pioneer, VITAS has developed effective protocols that are customized for each patient and family.

VITAS Website here>